Rostov Region is situated at the southern end of the Eastern European Plane and partially in the North Caucasus. It occupies a vast territory in the Lower Don river basin. By the character of the surface, the territory of Rostov Region is a plane divided by river valleys and gullies. The maximum altitude above sea level is 253 meters. In the northern section of the Region lies part of the Central Russian Upland; in the western section is the Eastern part of Donetskiy mountain-range; and in the southeastern section are the Salsko-Manychskaya and Ergeni ridges.
The distance between Moscow and Rostov-on-Don is 1226 kilometers. The total area of the region is 100.8 thousand square kilometers or 0,6% of the Russian territory. The Region is 470 kilometers north to south and 455 kilometers east to west. The territory occupied by the Rostov Region is equal to the combined territories of Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands.
The Rostov Region has land and water borders with the following regions: Donetsk and Lugansk Regions of Ukraine in the west and northwest (total length of the border is 660 kilometers), Voronezh and Volgograd Regions in the north and northeast, the Republic of Kalmykiya in the east and southeast, and Stavropol and Krasnodar Regions in the south. Rostov Region’s southwest section is washed by the Taganrog Bay of the Azov Sea, having the sea state border with Ukraine.
One of the largest rivers in Europe – the Don (2 thousand kilometers) runs through the Rostov Region. Also, the Tsymlyansk Reservoir (24 billion cubic meters of water) is situated here. The main tributaries of the Don – Severskiy Donets and Manych – are navigable. Lakes take only 0.4% of the territory of the region.
The region enjoys a pleasant mildly continental climate. The average temperature in January is -7°C, in July +23°C. The amount of sunlight is about 2050-2150 hours per year. From June to September the monthly average amounts of sunlight in Rostov are not very different from those in Sochi.
The yearly average amount of precipitation is 424 millimeters. Precipitation mostly occurs on the atmospheric fronts of cyclones. The amount decreases west (650 millimeters) to east (around 400 millimeters). High temperatures in summer and a long growing period provide for higher than average harvests of wheat, melons and gourds, horticultural crops and grapes.
The nature of Rostov Region is quite interesting. The steppes, forest oasises, the overflow-lands of the Don, and the coastline of the Azov Sea, play host to more than one-hundred different kinds of animals and valuable food fish.
The region’s territory lies within the steppe zone, only the edge of the southeastern part is a transition zone from steppe to semi-desert. About 5.6% of the region’s territory is covered by woods and bushes. Most of the region’s territory is farmland, mostly on highly fertile black earth.